Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #82178


item Burkett, Douglas
item Butler, Jerry
item Kline, Daniel - Dan

Submitted to: Journal of the Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Most traps designed to capture mosquitoes and other flies of medical and veterinary importance are baited with light and/or chemical attractants. Mosquito/fly traps that are used in remote locations require six volts of battery power to operate the trap's fan motor assembly and light bulb. The standard white light bulb used in such traps, which quickly consumes most of the battery power, allows the trap to run for onl 12 hours (1 trap night). "Super bright" light emitting diodes (LEDs) that emit red, orange, yellow, green or blue light are brighter than the standard white light bulbs and can run for several weeks or longer on one set of batteries. A cooperative effort of entomologists from the USDA/ARS Center or Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL and the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida in Gainesville found that, among the 20 different species of mosquitoes that could be collected, light color preferences were species- specific. In general, green and blue LEDs worked the best compared with the standard white light bulb. Results from this study can be used to improve our ability to monitor and collect mosquitoes and other flies and ultimately may result in improved trapping capabilities, as well as significant cost savings.

Technical Abstract: The attraction of mosquitoes to transmitted light from colored ultra-brigh ght emitting diodes (LED) (100nm bandwidth) was evaluated by comparison of capture numbers with and without carbon dioxide baited (200 ml/min) CDC traps. Traps with either colored LEDs or control lights were arranged in Latin square designs at two north central Florida woodland locations and checked daily during July and August 1996. When collections were classified by mosquito species, clear preferences were seen between species. Aedes atlanticus (Dyar and Knab), Ae. dupreei (Coquillett), Ae. infirmatus (Dyar and Knab), Anopheles crucians (Wiedemann), Culiseta melanura (Coquillett), Culex nigripalpus (Theobald), Psorophora columbiae (Dyar and Knab) and Uranotaenia sapphirina (Osten Sacken) showed significant color preferences. These results will have potential for use by ecologists, epidemiologists, and mosquito control personnel for improving collection efficiency of certain species of mosquitoes. LEDs have an advantage over traditional light sources in that they run on significantly lower amounts of energy (ca. 0.125 ma/hr) resulting insubstantial savings in battery life and expense.